To follow up on M.B.’s article: I use the 12″ Tramontina machete all the time. Using a hacksaw to make it more pointed, I dropped the point 7/16″ and put a 1 3/4″ long false edge on top with a 1/8″ wide bevel, and this shortened the blade to about 11 3/8.” It was easy to get the top edge perfectly straight with a file. This drop point makes it an effective stabber without weakening the blade.
The cutting edge was sharpened with a double cut bastard file, then a single cut smooth file to put a 1/8″ bevel on both sides of the blade. The edge is finished with a Big John Super Stick Ceramic Sharpening Rod ($6.49) from SMKW.com. This ceramic sharpener is roughly the size of the machete, and it’s great for sharpening tools and large blades. The Tennessee Big Stick Ceramic Sharpening Rod ($1.99) is thinner but also a good size. Great values and good stocking presents for Christmas.
I’m lucky to have a nice sheath from a Meyerco Combination Axe Machete ($26.99) that had its edge break. I use the Tramontina knife all the time as a large box cutter to cut cardboard. It’s plenty sharp and holds an edge well, and it sharpens easily. They are available for about $5.
Sincerely, – Hardy Citrus